JetBlue Pilot Held in Jail Following First Court Appearance

PHOTO: JetBlue pilot Clayton Frederick Osbon, right, is escorted to a waiting vehicle by FBI agents as he is released from The Pavilion at Northwest Texas Hospital.
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JetBlue Capt. Clayton Osbon is being held in a Texas jail without bond following his first court appearance today, where he smiled at his wife in the courtroom, but spoke very little.

Osbon, 49, only answered "yes" or "no" to questions from Magistrate Judge Clinton E. Averitte regarding Osbon's understanding of the charges against him and his right to an attorney.

"He was advised of his rights and the government filed a motion for pre-trial detention," courtroom deputy Beverley Bratcher told ABCNews.com. "It was a quick initial appearance."

The hearing was Osbon's first public appearance since an apparent breakdown last week on a flight from New York to Las Vegas, during which he screamed about September 11 and religion, was locked out of the cockpit, and had to be restraind by passengers until the plane could make an emergency landing in Texas.

JetBlue Flight 191 was carrying 135 passengers and six crew members. A flight attendant suffered from some bruising to the ribs during the scuffle, but no one was seriously injured.

Osbon has been federally charged with interfering with flight crew instructions. According to the Department of Justice, the charge could be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

He was not asked to enter a guilty or not-guilty plea today.

Osbon appeard in an Amarillo, Texas federal court for a seven-minute hearing where federal prosecutors asked that he be held without bond until a detention hearing on Thursday. The judge agreed and Osbon is being held in the Randall County Jail in Amarillo without bond.

Osbon's attorney, E. Dean Roper, did not respond to requests for comment from ABCNews.com.

On Sunday, Osbon's family thanked the plane's crew and passengers "for their effective yet compassionate handling of the situation."

"It is our belief, as Clayton's family, that while he was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anyone," his wife Connye said in a statement. "We know you were placed in an awful situation and we appreciate your ability to respond professionally."

The statement was the first publicly released by Osbon's family since the incident on Flight 191, and in it Connye Osbon asked the public to respect his privacy.

The day of the incident, Connye Osbon was clearly distruaght when contacted by ABCNews.com.

"There are several different sides to every story. Just keep that in mind," she said.

In Sunday's statement, Connye Osbon also expressed gratitude to "the kind and compassionate team of doctors and staff at Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo, as well as the many friends, coworkers, and loved ones who have reached out to us to wish Clayton well during this challenging time."

She added that while the family appreciated and understood "the public's interest in our family's current situation," neither Clayton nor his family would grant any interviews or make further statements.

"We hope you can empathize and understand that our focus completely surrounds Clayton's recovery and the path that lies immediately ahead," she said.

Osbon faces criminal charges following last week's mid-air incident in which he turned off the radios and began to dim the monitor in the cockpit, then ranted about Sept. 11 and yelled ominous instructions in the jetliner's cabin.

According to an FBI affidavit, "Osbon began talking about religion, but his statements were not coherent. The [first officer] became concerned when Osbon said 'things just don't matter.'"

"Osbon also yelled jumbled comments about Jesus, Sept. 11, Iraq, Iran, and terrorists," according to the criminal complaint filed against him. "He also yelled, 'Guys, push it to full throttle.'"

Osbon was subdued by at least five passengers after his co-pilot reportedly locked him out of the cockpit when he displayed potentially dangerous behavior. The flight from Kennedy Airport in New York was diverted to Amarillo, Texas.

On the ground, Osbon was taken off the plane in handcuffs and a wheelchair by Amarillo police.

Additional reporting by ABC News' Marisa Taylor and the Associated Press.

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